Samsung PS-63P76FD review: Samsung PS-63P76FD

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Remarkably cheap for such a whopper; generally very good pictures; features and connections galore; 'Full HD' resolution; tasty audio.

The Bad Reds can look slightly orange; some image retention initially; minor blurring of motion.

The Bottom Line Samsung's flagship plasma TV has the size, features and connections to perfectly meet a serious home cinephile's needs. And thankfully it's anything but a mug in the performance department, too. All of which makes its price seem mouth-wateringly affordable

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Samsung appears to be on a mission at the moment to prove that it's not just a mass market proposition.

And there can be no clearer statement of that mission than the brand's PS-63P76FD, which at 63 inches across and costing around £3,600, is a plasma TV clearly aimed at a niche, but very demanding market.

Strengths
OK, we've got our 'home cinema heaven' checklist in front of us and we're looking at the 63P76FD. So: huge screen size? At 63 inches that's a definite 'check'. 'Full HD' native resolution? Check. Loads of HD-friendly connections? Check. Plasma technology to deliver those lovely cinematic black levels we adore so much? Check. Enough features to keep our tinkering fingers busy for days? Check.

Already the 63P76FD is making a pretty solid case for itself as being a serious home cinema centrepiece. Yet the good news just keeps on coming the deeper we delve.

For instance, it turns out that the set's three HDMIs are all v1.3 affairs, with all the potential extra functionality that entails. Plus they can take in the 1080p /24fps mode now output for extra image purity by some HD disc players.

Then there's Samsung's claim of an extravagant 15,000:1 contrast ratio -- that's only 1,000:1 behind the figure quoted by Pioneer for its ground-breaking new Kuro plasma sets.

Screen reflections are superbly well repressed, too, thanks to a special filter that soaks up to 90 per cent of them. As a result, black levels in dark movies like Alien look impressively unspoiled, drawing you into the action rather than leaving you staring at your own reflection.

Black levels are also very deep, giving dark scenes great depth and believability, while colours are rich, aggressive and natural and suffer precious little noise.

But perhaps best of all is the exceptional sharpness of the 63P76FD's HD pictures. On a screen this size, the detailing and textures on display frequently leave you feeling like you're looking through a window at a real -- and life-sized! -- world on the other side.

There's some impressively potent audio to support the grandstanding pictures, too and even its standard definition pictures look decent -- a really rare talent on a screen as big as this.

Finally, of course, don't forget that all this quality comes at what is, in the circumstances, a remarkably affordable price.

Weaknesses
Although good, the 63P76FD's pictures aren't perfect. For starters, during our early hours with the TV we noticed that exceptionally bright parts of the picture could leave traces of themselves behind for a few seconds after they were supposed to have disappeared. This problem did reduce over time and would probably cease to be an issue eventually.

There's also an occasional green undertone to one or two low-lit skin tones and you can actually make pictures worse if you're not careful with some of the picture settings. For instance, an Edge Enhancer tool can make edges look over-dominant, while a Movie Plus mode designed to make motion look smoother also introduces distracting flickers around the edges of moving objects.

Conclusion
The 63P76FD represents Samsung's first bid to gain a foothold in the really large-screen plasma marketplace. And it's hard to see how the Korean brand could have made a more impressive debut, with the set combining value (at around £3,600), performance and features to almost irresistible effect.

Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Jon Squire

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Where to Buy

Samsung PS-63P76FD

Part Number: CNETSamsung PS-63P76FD

Typical Price: £3,600.00

See manufacturer website for availability.